Transfer fair to assist international students

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Event provides information on four-year schools in the U.S.

By Rachel Cooper

The International Student Transfer Fair will take place at this college 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Nov. 30 in Loftin Student Center and 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Nov. 29 at St. Philip’s College in the center for health professions atrium.

The transfer fair is “specifically for international students,” said Patricia Garza, Alamo Colleges coordinator of international recruitment and student services.

International students from any of the Alamo Colleges are welcome, she said.

Right now the fair has about 11 public and private universities lined up, including Texas A&M International University; Texas A&M University–Texarkana and Corpus Christi; Our Lady of the Lake; The University of Texas–San Antonio, Tyler and Houston Victoria; and St. Mary’s, Baylor, Texas State and Tarleton State universities, she said.

The transfer fair is for international students who would like to complete a bachelor’s degree in the United States, Garza said.

Transferring as an international student is basically the same process as a domestic student except that international students must submit more documents, Martha Buchanan, coordinator of international students at this college, said.

The documents are “their immigration status, keeping visa, for domestic students who qualify for financial aid, its financial aid, for our students who are vets it’s that tuition assistance,” Buchanan said.

To transfer, students would first apply to the four-year university of their choice and let international students services know, Buchanan said.

A student should then contact the ISS counterpart at the new institution.

Once a student receives their acceptance letter, ISS will release a student’s I-20 visa to the new institution at the end of term if they are on good academic standing.

“I release them and they fly,” Buchanan said.

International students represent close to 50 countries within the district, Garza said.

Most international students are from Mexico, Vietnam, Saudi Arabia, India and South Korea, she said.

Some universities, especially those out of state, won’t make it to the transfer fair so they’ve been stopping to encourage international students to transfer, Buchanan said.

“It’s just a great opportunity for a site visit,” she said.

Arkansas Tech University visited this college Oct. 25 to talk to international students about the opportunities there.

Arkansas Tech University has non work-study jobs available for international students, she said.

“I wish we could do that for international students here in this office, is offer them positions or the opportunity to work part time, that’s not a reality.”

Some colleges also offer scholarships for international students.

“I wish we could do that for international students here in this office, is offer them positions or the opportunity to work part time, that’s not a reality.”

“If an international student was content just to get comfy in one spot, they would of stayed home,” Buchanan said.

If a student can travel beyond the borders of Texas, or even a different region, then that is a greater opportunity, she said.

“I’m looking forward to it. I think it’s going to be a really good event,” Buchanan said.

“We definitely want them to go.” Garza said.


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